Department Blog

Suggestions and Comments

STUFFY 24 Hour Reading Room

March 7th, 2014 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: Would it be possible to air out the 24 hour room every few days or so, either manually (opening the doors) or through some ventilation system? I think that would really help with the stuffiness, as well as with preventing the room from incubating germs.

ANSWER: I will pass on your suggestion to our facilities crew. Most likely we wouldn’t prop open the doors (security issues) but we can look at the air handling system and see about running the fans more often.
(One Day Later)
Your request was forwarded to campus facilities.
We discovered that the air handling system was operating full speed all day long but then it shut down around midnight. I explained how our room was open 24/7 and we needed better support.

They Changed the fan schedule and it is NOW in effect!
Thank you very much for taking the time to write. It has allowed us to respond to problem we did not know existed.

Webpage Cluttered

January 28th, 2014 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: Please don’t make your web page cluttered with too many options.  It takes me forever to find what I want.  It is very frustrating and irritating.

ANSWER:  Thank you for taking the time to write to us.  I agree with you, our web site needs updating, in fact a total redesign would be wonderful and we are in the midst of working towards that goal.  The Library will soon be hiring an Online Platform lead — at that point we’ll avail ourselves of the best in user-centric design and new technologies.

This will not happen suddenly, but we (and many other libraries) are aware of the problems with being an information rich environment with the subsequent issue of vastly different audiences wanting immediate access to their specific tools.  One of the best things about our amazing resources is the breadth and depth of what we offer.  Of course, the downside is the super rich, confusing breadth and depth . . .

In the meanwhile, if you need a quick tutorial on how to best use our tools — come by any of our reference desks, set up a meeting with our subject librarians, or email us.  We have many ways to help and we’re happy to show you how to quickly find what you need.

More Electrical!!! (good news)

January 27th, 2014 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: (okay, more of a statement) More electrical outlets.

ANSWER: We hear you.  Seriously.  This summer, when we re-arranged our furniture in Shields Library to help form quiet, study, and group zones, we took into account all of the locations where we could extend power by adding surge protectors to the tops of tables.

The first round (summer ’13) we added approximately 30 surge protectors, extending the plug-in option for 180 computers, phones, etc.  Just a month ago we approved funding for another 49 surge protectors or 294 outlets.  When the next set of surge protectors come in we will have added 474 outlets on or adjacent to study tables.

We expect this project to take until the end of the quarter to finish, but once done you’ll have many more options for keeping your digital tools fully charged!

Who Gets Access to Public Computers?

January 27th, 2014 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: As a U.C. Davis alumnus and Los Rios Community College faculty member, I am alarmed by the recent reduction in public access computers at Shields. While I’m pleased the library has been able to replace its aging computers with new ones, I find it greatly troubling that in the process it has replaced what were public access computers with computers inaccessible to “unaffiliated” patrons, including alumni and the faculty as well as students of the region’s other public post-secondary institutions, which count upon the University Library for many of their research needs.

I very much hope the university will better remember its obligations as a land-grant institution and as the flagship public research institution in the area and find some way to provide its “unaffiliated” patrons with the same level of access it has historically provided. If a significant number of public access computers are somehow problematic, perhaps it could provide login privileges to those patrons to whom it has already extended borrowing privileges.

ANSWER:  Thank you for taking the time to write the library with your concerns.  We are undergoing a review of public computers in all of our libraries and public comments are an important part of the conversation.  If you’ve been using our computers you have certainly noticed that the number and quality of the PCs have dropped  during the past few years of budget cutbacks. We are exploring how to best rectify this and, in light of constant technological changes, what sort of computer support our patrons need.

 We have put up a survey which we invite you to fill out.  We are gathering comments on white boards, we are noting (in a very rough way) what types of sites are being used (academic, business, social media, news, etc), and we are soliciting comments from our primary user groups.  Comments such as this will also be added to the conversation.
Once we have finished our information gathering work, my job will be to present solutions that take into consideration the needs of our primary users (students, faculty and staff), those of outside patrons, and of course — our technology budget in combination with future programmatic needs.
Again, I invite you to fill out the survey; share why access to UC Davis resources are useful to you and which technologies you prefer.  I feel confident that we will always provide access to research materials to our public.  However, UCD is very rare in offering the public unlimited (non-research) access to computers and the internet and in times of diminishing resources this privilege may change.  We are exploring what our peer libraries do in regard to public access.
I appreciate your comments and especially your suggestion about linking computer use to library cards.  It may be too limiting — but it is another approach to add to our discussion.  UCD students and faculty, what are your thoughts?

After Hours Sustenance!

January 16th, 2014 by Amy Kautzman

Shields Library now has a snack and pop machine located in the 24 Hour Reading Room. We heard you were hungry so we partnered with Sodexo who provided the machines and is responsible for the upkeep. Not as wonderful as Sam’s falafel, but the snacks will help you keep you studying for another hour or so.

Electricity, please and thank you.

June 9th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: Providing extension cords for students to check out at the library would be helpful, especially when the library is more crowded than usual. Most, if not all, college students primarily use their laptop to look at handouts posted by their professors, write papers, etc.

ANSWER: Mind meld! We just finished speaking with the facilities people to explore attaching surge protectors and outlets to as many tables as possible. The surge protectors should be in use by July.

Sustenance! (please and thank you)

March 13th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: I like to see vending machines in the shields 24 Hour Reading Room entrance with energy shots and energy bars for the late night studiers. This will help avoid trips to the convenient stores.

ANSWER: Great idea. It turns out that we are already in discussion with ASUCD about this sort of service.
As with many actions at UCD, there are many groups to work through. The Library is having discussions and will (hopefully) be able to meet our student’s needs.

If We’re Close to Finals, There Are Complaints About Noise!

March 8th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: Would you please install doors for the group study rooms on 3rd and fourth floors around the elevators? There are very noisy, especially it is quiet around these rooms.

ANSWER: Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I really appreciate hearing about what needs to be improved in the Library.

The space you are referring to is a makeshift study space, it used to be our old copier room. Legally I can’t put doors on that space. I have two solutions, neither perfect but moving towards a better world.

1) If you are disturbed by the noise, always feel free to call down to the circulation desk and ask to have a security guard sent up to ask the students to be quieter. The number is 752-8792.

2) At this very moment I am working on a plan to re-order furniture in the Library and to designate floors by activities; ex: 1st floor would be group oriented and the 3rd and 4th floors would be silent. I’m working on student notification and an action plan with the expectation all movement will be accomplished by fall 2013.

None will solve the immediate problem of students being impolite, but we’re working to make it easier for people to self-regulate. Currently we have a mix of quiet and group spaces which means neither group is totally comfortable.

In the meanwhile, if you want a quiet carrel, I’d suggest that you move to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th floors on the far south side of the building. We have rows of cubicles beyond the stacks that are deathly quiet. Hopefully this will work for you.

Need More Electrical Outlets!

February 15th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: What aren’t there more electrical outlets throughout the Shields Library?

ANSWER: The boring answer is that Shields is an old building and when it was built we didn’t carry computers and cell phones everywhere. Therefore there was no need for the number of outlets we now want.

The story behind that answer is the fact that the Library and ASUCD have partnered to provide more outlets. Last year we added power strips to the desks in the 24/7 Reading Room. Two summers ago we added more outlets to the 2nd floor Reading Room tables. Many years back we added power to hundreds of the individual cubicles. It. Still. Isn’t. Enough.

So, as we look into our future and consider what you need and how the building needs to meet those needs — we will be looking into providing more power. There is no immediate funding for more power in the next year. But providing more power is a priority and we hear you. Seriously, we do.

Expand the 24HRR to the Main Reading Room!

February 12th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: Can you re-open the staircase connecting the Main Reading Room to the 24 hour reading room. It would be safer for students studying when the library closes and an overall convenience for everyone.

ANSWER: We have explored the option of opening up that stairwell during evening hours. It would allow more students to have access to library space after hours, and honestly — the Reading Room is MUCH better looking and more comfortable.

This idea is not off the table, but it does require more $$ to manage the space and keep the library and our students secure. This year we are examining a number of ways in which we can better support undergrad’s space needs. We have a Student Library Advisory Committee and are meeting regularly with the ASUCD. Between these two groups, suggestions from users, and our year-long study of library space we hope to radically improve student space in the library.

I hope you’re not graduating this year because you may see some really great changes in the future. Of course, and I hate this part, it does take time and we do need to raise funds. But I think our ideas are entirely doable.